Cravendale – Marketing a Technical Advantage to Consumers.


Marketing a Technical Advantage to Consumers.

Cravendale milk bottles

We all love fresh milk, right? But what do we actually mean by this?

Background – Filtered to last longer, but to what advantage?

Cravendale milk is filtered through ceramic filters to remove more of the bacteria which means that it stays “fresh” for up to 3 weeks unopened and 7 days after opening – longer than other “fresh” milks.

In a commoditised market like milk the clear rational benefit was not enough to convince consumers to pay a price premium for Cravendale. On top of this, own label retailers were further commoditising the market with price reductions and Cravendale was losing market share…

The Question – How do we sell the advantage to consumers?

How do we find a positioning for Cravendale that is attractive to consumers and justifies the premium price.

The Marketing Clinic Approach – Finding the Emotional Advantage

So how to overcome this downward spiral? We began by looking at the problem from a different perspective.

We identified the taste journeys and, more importantly, the different emotional journeys that are cued by the different taste experiences. By identifying how consumers respond emotionally to the different products we had the key to transforming the fortunes of Cravendale.

Cravendale does taste fresher than an equivalently aged unfiltered milk, but “Freshness” is a relative and rather elastic concept. The consumer rarely consciously notices the difference and, if they do, they nearly always dismiss it as within the normal variation of milk “it gets a little less fresh, but it is still OK”

However, from our findings we could see that what was needed was a subtle change of marketing language; to move away from emphasising the rational benefit – which the consumer finds questionable – to the emotional benefit which they find very believable.

The Outcome – Communication that motivates.

“Cravendale tastes fresher for longer” plants the idea into the consumers’ mind which they find to be true every time they drink Cravendale milk. It actually does taste fresher for longer.

This belief in Cravendale is reinforced every time consumers’ taste it and is further supported by the rational argument that the filtering process removes more bacteria, hence the milk will taste fresher for longer…

By moving the focus away from rational benefits and by understanding consumers’ emotional experience of a product were able to reverse the problem of commoditisation and reverse the fortunes for Cravendale.